What Documents Should Be Included In Your Estate Plan?
Whether you have a family, loved ones, or good friends, or even if you live on your own with no one in your life, you need to have an estate plan. You might only think you need to plan your estate if you have a high net worth or expensive assets. This is not the case. You need an estate plan no matter where you are in life. Not doing so can ultimately leave those connected to you in a bind after you pass away.
A major part of planning your estate is having all of your important documents updated and in a place where they can be accessed. You can work with an attorney to ensure you have all of your documents updated. Here are some of the important documents you need to have in your estate plan.
A will is one part of an estate plan. This is a document that lays out your wishes once you die. It lists what you want to happen to your property, who gets access to your money, your funeral plans, who you want to take guardianship of your children or pets, and the like.
A trust is a great legal tool that can accomplish some important tasks during your life as well as when you pass away. A trust you use when you are alive is called a living trust. A living trust holds your assets for your beneficiaries and is managed by a trustee you choose in the event you cannot take care of yourself. Once you pass away, your trustee will deal with your trust and its contents. The trust will include instructions on what to do with the assets held in the trust. This way, your assets will go where you want them once you die.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney should be something you have in place now in the event you need someone to act on your behalf if you can no longer care for yourself or make your own decisions. When there is no power of attorney, the courts have to get involved to deal with your assets. The agent in your power of attorney will make either financial decisions, medical decisions, or both. You can have two separate agents for both financial and medical power of attorney.
A List of Your Beneficiaries
If you want to leave your assets to anyone, you need a list of beneficiaries in your estate plan. Beneficiaries can inherit your assets which include any property or money you have. They can also inherit your retirement accounts, insurance payouts, and the like. You always need to update your list of beneficiaries as you have children if one of your beneficiaries passes away, or you simply change your mind as to whom you want to inherit your estate.
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